World Economic Forum 2012 Â© Thomas Oswald
27th January – Africa 2.0 Delegation in Davos (World Economic Forum side event) to raise awareness on Africa 2.0 recommendations and rally support from leaders within the Global Community.
Time will tell whether the new generation of Africans on the continent and in the Diaspora may come to consider January 27th 2012 as another watershed in the affairs of Africa in Davos. On this fateful day, Africa 2.0 MANIFESTO was launched during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting at the Steigenberger Grand Hotel Belvedere overlooking the Congress Centre.
This is the view CEOs of leading investment funds, renowned entrepreneurs, and several thought leaders of global stature who graced the occasion to discover and discuss the Africa 2.0 MANIFESTO. In support of the manifesto, an unanimous decision by the attendants to form a Davos-Africa 2.0 working group aimed at raising awareness and mobilize international community around the MANIFESTO.
The Africa 2.0 team delivered an overview of the 18-month process leading to the creation of the first draft of the Africa 2.0 Manifesto. The MANIFESTO was prepared by 350 young emerging leaders from over 40 African nationalities. The document proposes a comprehensive strategic Vision for a New Africa. The soft launch was to familiarize global leaders with the need for a grass root led, and youth-conscious, continental Vision. While acknowledging the diversity of the present African experience, such a Vision for a New Africa focuses nevertheless on the greater importance of addressing common challenges by capitalizing on cross-fertilization of knowledge in order to drive broad-based change for the majority of Africans.
The carefully selected cross-section of global leaders attending the launch was uniquely positioned to contribute to the harnessing of this momentum. The audience gathered influential men and women operating in both developed and emerging markets, from diverse lines of expertise, with strong insights into Africa’s current orientation and positioning.
The open forum that followed Africa 2.0’s presentation clearly vindicated the expectations of the team of young emerging African leaders going into the session. The global leaders commended this unique and ambitious initiative. The audience also provided constructive feedback on the design of a roadmap driving global awareness and adoption of the MANIFESTO across Africa and abroad.
A major point of interest arising from the interactions was the importance of clearly establishing the unique value proposition of the Africa 2.0 MANIFESTO against the backdrop of many attempted initiatives in Africa.
A consensus emerged behind a major differentiating feature of the Africa 2.0 manifesto process: its strong focus on grassroots engagement as a mechanism for enforcing accountability amongst national stakeholders.
The use of national building blocks, the enhancement of social media frameworks, the strong co-optation of Diaspora, and the increased leadership role assigned to African youth, and other change makers, distinguished Africa 2.0 and the MANIFESTO as a unique and promising initiative that could possibly become a key milestone in the history of the continent should it further echo among the grass-root on the continent and catch the attention of current African leaders.
Africa 2.0 acknowledged that the success of such initiative would only take place if each key stakeholder do their part in not only disseminating the MANIFESTO but also in engaging into a necessary social contract gathering Civil Society, Private Sector, Government etc committing to adopt and implement the Vision. Africa 2.0 envisages to build success stories first in pilot sectors or countries and is already gathering a “Coalition of the Willing” mobilizing committed parties to adopt and drive whole or part of the Vision at municipal, national or regional level to create emulation and trigger a viral effect across the continent. Next step: June 2012 at the Africa 2.0 Leadership Symposium in Nigeria. The Gathering will focus amongst others on Agribusiness, Infrastructure and Capacity Building…